I have told you I am an avid gardener. Whenever I visited my grandmother in Eureka, California I would fall under the spell of her expansive fairy garden. It was truly magical. My Gram had the greenest thumb of anyone I’ve ever met and made her piece of the planet breathtakingly lovely. I never thought I had inherited Gram’s intuitive gardening until I moved to my new little home. When I began to cultivate the dirt of my new digs it was as though my Grandma had bequeathed me her special bond with Mother Earth. Miraculously things flourished grandly in my loving and enthusiastic care.
I have learned a lot about perspective and life communing with my plants. This Spring I was blessed with the work I put in the late fall prior. When my daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths poked their heads through the snow I felt a promise kept. I had lain beneath the earth my Spring and having done the work I was rewarded.
Life is a lot like that. What we plant and tend in our hearts grows.
I understand hurt and disappointment; I’ve had a lifetime of examples on both accounts. I’m not special...you’ve had these too...and so has your neighbor...and your amigo...and your Boss. Life is ever changing, just like the seasons, and as such there are times deep, dark, winter descends.
When you are in a season of hardship it is important to still anticipate the light. It is key to plant seeds you wish to see flourish when the feeling of Spring returns. Our feelings are ever changing so we must accurately and articulately name them. One of the healthiest things I learned to do is articulate my precise emotion.
Not naming a feeling authentically has a way of turning that feeling into a bitter seed. Unarticulated emotions hide inward and cause destructive tendencies.
Growing up I was never permitted to be "mad"...I could be “sad” or “hurt”...those were "pretty", lady-like, emotions and I was only ever allowed to be "pretty". Perhaps this was a generational thing, but the day I said “RAGE” was the day I felt a well of power. On that day I stopped my perseveration on "food" and linking it to my inner “worth”. Food was neither “good” nor “bad"; it was now simply benign "fuel". Saying Rage was like candy in my mouth. I actually wrote it and said it like a poem.
For me, naming an "unbecoming" emotion was the key out of my cage.
To say I’m angry, jealous, envious, insecure etc. is to be vulnerable, yes..but ultimately it is to be human! We have all been everything I’ve listed AND MORE!! It’s what we do with all emotions we have that matters! It’s how we tend the gardens in our heart and pluck the weeds.
Recently a dear friend and I were speaking of this and I told her,
“We don't want to invite in bitterness by shutting out things that may or may not hurt us. We are people...we will be hurt and disappointed in life, nothing is forever or guaranteed. The best part of my life now is knowing FOR SURE I will get my heart broken but it is insanely resilient and as such I WILL survive.”.
She answered how this thought had been salve to her heart. We all need a little salve. We all need to be loved, admired, appreciated, and tended. We must give and receive this with reciprocity. Human beings require sun and water, same as the flowers we plant.
If you do not get this from outside sources give it to yourself. Plant seeds in your own heart you want to flourish and grow. Tend to yourself kindly in word and deed. Feed yourself well and move your body. Remind yourself that although you might be in a season of darkness the light is near behind. You must have faith in the promise of a guaranteed Spring.
I believe planting a garden is a metaphor for life. I believe the seeds you plant are constantly growing and changing beneath the surface and so must you! I believe what you sow IS what you reap. As such, you must BELIEVE in the Beauty of your OWN authentic life, and garden,...Always!!
If you have a question for me, big or small, #AskDana on Twitter, instagram, and Facebook for our next installment of #TotalWarriors Live, coming this June!!!